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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fair Witness: United Methodist GBGM Resolution


April 1, 2008

Contact: Sr. Ruth Lautt, O.P., Esq.

Christians For Fair Witness on the Middle East

(212) 870-2320

Christians for Fair Witness Applauds Recent United Church of Christ Executive Council Action on Israel/Palestine Conflict and Asks United Methodists to Follow Their Lead

Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East is concerned about a resolution submitted by the Methodist General Board of Global Ministries ("GBGM") to the upcoming United Methodist Church General Conference.

"The resolution, entitled "Israel-Palestine Conflict" (Petition Number 80441-GM-R323), is nothing more than a one-sided attack on the state of Israel camouflaged by the verbiage of peace and justice," according to Sr. Ruth Lautt, Fair Witness National Director. "It refers only to 'Palestinian suffering' without acknowledging that Israelis also suffer. There is no mention of Palestinian terrorism, suicide bombing during the Second Intifada, or the current non-stop firing of Qassam rockets and Iranian-made missiles from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The resolution also mischaracterizes U.N. resolutions and international law in a manner designed to point the finger of blame squarely at Israel," Sr. Ruth explains.

"Although Israel is far from blameless in this conflict, a resolution with this blatant lack of balance should be a red flag," says Rev. Dr. Archer Summers, Senior Minister, First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto, California. "Especially when it comes from a Methodist agency that recently published a book that accuses Jews of ' becoming monsters' and characterizes the founding of the Jewish state in terms of 'original sin,'" added Rev. Summers.

In June 2007, the United Church of Christ ("UCC") Synod adopted a resolution on Israel-Palestine which acknowledged that it "may have overlooked many aspects of an extraordinarily complicated situation . . ." and obligated the denomination "to establish a Task Force to engage in ongoing and balanced study of the causes, history and context of the conflict." In its first meeting after the Synod, the Executive Council of the UCC adopted an Action (October 2007) that directed the Task Force or panel to "engage in dialogue with traditional as well as new voices . . . representing diverse perspectives" regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict. "Fair Witness wholeheartedly applauds this new and balanced approach adopted by the UCC Executive Council and urges the United Methodists to follow their lead," says Sr. Ruth.

An analysis of the GBGM's resolution is available on the Fair Witness website:

Sr. Ruth Lautt, OP, Esq.

National Director

Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East

475 Riverside Drive, Ste 1960
New York, NY 10115

(212) 870-2320

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